Game 1 of the 2020 NBA Finals couldn’t have gone much worse for the Heat.
Miami not only lost to Los Angeles in blowout fashion Wednesday night, but also saw multiple key players go down with injuries. Bam Adebayo (shoulder) and Goran Dragic (foot) each left Game 1 and didn’t return; Jimmy Butler struggled with an ankle problem as he attempted to spark a comeback.
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Heat coach Erik Spoelstra didn’t offer any new information on his players’ health during his postgame media availability, but here’s what we know so far about those injuries based on official team statements and early reports:
Bam Adebayo injury update
The All-Star big man appeared to hurt his left shoulder on a hard drive against Lakers center Dwight Howard in the third quarter, then re-aggravated the injury while jumping for an offensive rebound.
Miami called Adebayo’s injury a left shoulder strain and noted that X-rays came back negative. Adebayo dealt with a similar issue during the Eastern Conference finals after getting tangled up with Celtics forward Jayson Tatum.
Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press reported late Wednesday that Adebayo intends to play in Friday’s Game 2.
Jimmy Butler injury update
Just before halftime of Game 1, Butler rolled his left ankle and hobbled off the floor in pain. He did manage to return, but that ankle was clearly bothering him in the second half.
“A little bit sore, I’ll be OK. Some treatment, and get ready to go again,” Butler said when asked how his ankle felt following the loss. “I think I gotta be ready to go. We’ll see how it feels tomorrow, but I’m gonna be fine.”
Goran Dragic injury update
Dragic, the Heat’s leading scorer in these playoffs, appeared to injure his left foot in the first half. He wasn’t on the floor or in the Miami bench area when the third quarter started.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported after Game 1 that Dragic had suffered a torn plantar fascia. He has not been officially ruled out for the rest of the series, but based on past cases of this particular injury, the odds of Dragic making an impact against the Lakers aren’t great.
From injury expert Jeff Stotts:
“It is possible to play on partially torn plantar fascia but the injury is often very painful and limiting. Modifications to the athlete’s shoes can be made to help with the associated symptoms but are by no means a cure. Time remains the best course of treatment, especially for a complete tear or rupture.
Look for Dragic to undergo additional testing over the next 24 hours but it appears the Heat’s title aspirations have been dealt a crippling blow.”
“Be ready to go with or without Goran,” Butler said. “We’re still expected to win. We still know that we can. Like I said earlier, we want that guy out there with us. He’s a big part of what we’re trying to do, but until we can have him back, we gotta go out there and we gotta fight even harder.”